Importance of an Ordered Life

Some might wonder how a man who is the sole proprietor of a law practice, has four children under the age of five, runs a writer's group, a blog, and plays with toy soldiers still has time to write novels. For myself, it all boils down to the cultivation of one virtue, that is the spirit of order. The Catholic Manual of Civility, explains:

The spirit of order is a most precious quality. It should be included as one of the most indispensable attributes of a man in his private as well as his social life, because it extends itself beneficially to our personal actions as well as our relations with our neighbour.

This most beautiful attribute exercises a decisive influence over a man's success in life. Order gives value to our talents and qualities, and makes them fecund, just as its absence renders our highest aspirations barren and our best gifts futile.

Order is economy of time and money. It allows us to give a better quality and greater quantity of results in both our material and intellectual labours because with it, we take full advantage of time, avoiding dawdling, delay, and doubt.

In practice, this means living a regulated life. I know that most writers, being creative spirits, will balk at this idea, but it has allowed be to get far far more writing done than I ever did before. Despite having less "free time" than in any other period of my life, my writing output has actually increased.

Regulating your life boils down to prioritization, scheduling and habit. Determine what you need to get done each day, and plan what you will do when. It doesn't need to be carved in stone, but I (and my family) has a very regular routine even though we have no written schedule. But dinner is at a certain time, the family rosary at another, and bedtime at yet another. An important key is not to include opportunities for dissipation in this schedule. I'll discuss dissipation in another post.

Catholic Manual of Civility. Ed. Horvat, Marian T., Ph.D. Tradition in Action. Los Angeles: 2008. p. 19

Available for sale at http://www.traditioninaction.org/books.htm; 160 pp.; $16.


Ana D V said...

Thanks for this post Nicholas. I will be waiting for your post about dissipation. By the way, your blog is amazing.

Nicholas D.C. Wansbutter said...

Thank you, Ana. Please spread the word!

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